Where is the North Star today?

According to Scientific American: "The North Star, or Polaris, is the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor, the little bear (also known as the Little Dipper)."

Click on the link to the right for their full article (with a picture showing the location).


Another way to find Polaris is to locate the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) which is usually easy to find from the Northern hemisphere, and then look at the two stars on the lip, or front side of the cup. These are Merak, on the bottom, and Dubhe on the tip of the lip. If you estimate the distance between these two and then follow a line straight up from Merak through Dubhe about three times that distance, you will find Polaris. It will appear to be approximately due North from any place it can be seen (which is nice for orienting yourself at night). As mentioned above, Polaris is also part of the Little Dipper (Ursa Minor) and is the star at the end of the handle.

Because Polaris lies nearly in a direct line with the axis of the Earth's rotation "above" the North Pole - the north celestial pole - Polaris stands almost motionless on the sky, and all the stars of the Northern sky appear to rotate around it. Therefore, it makes an excellent fixed point from which to draw measurements for celestial navigation and for astrometry.

Additional Answer

If you mean where in space is the star, relative to earth, it is 431 light years away from earth, about 2 degrees away from a line going from the south pole through the north pole.

The web site in the related links also shows the direction of Polaris relative to Earth in the galaxy.